I visited Prague on the anniversary of its liberation by the Russians. The entire town was decorated with communist propaganda, and I quickly discerned that every manifestation of celebration was in fact viewed and resented by most citizens as symbols of the unwanted Soviet occupation. As a young western visitor I was struck by the mixture of traditional culture with simple graphic propaganda, the presence of the military on the streets, and the many references to warfare and arms. The area around the statue in Wenceslas Square where Jan Palach had set himself on fire was palpably tense. While the lack of commercial signage today seems refreshing, at the time it reinforced a general sense of dourness and economic austerity.